The Only National Awards For Non-Medical / Non-Clinical NHS Staff & Volunteers

Our Inaugural Advisory Board Meeting

14th August 2020

After assembling a formidable selection of board members, our very first Advisory Board meeting took place earlier this month with our CEO Laura Tomlinson.

Our board is made up of six skilled individuals who each have their own unique insights into the NHS, which gives scope and clarity to the work that we do.

The founding members are: 

Helen Barker

Chief Operating Officer at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

Carl Ramsdale

Past UHA winner and Senior Quality and Compliance Inspector at NHS Counter Fraud Authority

Antony Tiernan

Director of Communications and Engagement at London Ambulance Service

Ellie Orton

CEO of NHS Charities Together

Kathy Cowell OBE DL

Chairman, Board Member at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Habib Naqvi MBE

Interim Director for NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard


As the Unsung Hero Awards (UHAs) continue to grow, our board’s aim is clear: to develop and maintain sustainable growth without compromising our mission to recognise those who go the extra mile. We also want to take this further by placing more emphasis on staff and volunteers within the social care sector, as pointed out by Calderdale & Huddersfield CEO Helen.

During the online meeting, the board took time to expand on our values, analysing just how intrinsic they are to our operations. Rather than over complicating our strategy, we found it    more useful to question what it is that drives us, and how we can continue our work moving forward.

What are our motivators?
  • Recognition for those who have gone above and beyond
  • Enhance experiences of our audience and build relationships
  • Greater access for a wider audience
  • Fairness and inclusion

A key point raised was the value and identity of those ‘behind’ the medical roles that are in the forefront of the public imagination- the army of workers who make up nearly half of the NHS total workforce. Who are they, and how can we share their stories?

This is even more significant in the current climate. COVID-19 has put so many of our NHS services under enormous pressure, which has resulted in a huge response from the general public. However, there are also a vast array of staff and volunteers that are continuing with their day to day roles as normal, delivering quality care and service as they always have. The board therefore agreed that we need to provide space and access for all NHS workers, ensuring they are recognised and acknowledged for their dedication and resilience in the face of the pandemic.

Another significant discussion point raised by Antony was diversity. It is clear that all organisations, including our own, should be changing our workplaces for the better. Each and every one of us can invest in equality and continue to drive the discussion forward. Acknowledging and recognising all contributions, from all backgrounds and occupations (including those who have retired) is an absolute essential. The premise of our work remains the same, but we ultimately want to be able to do more. Give more back, to more people than ever before. We will continue to provide recognition, enhance staff morale and boost well-being for everyone within our NHS family, expanding our reach and creating solid partnerships with those that represent the very ethos of the NHS.

Written by Sarah Catherine Jones | Creative Content Assistant

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